GENETICS 2520 - Genetics IIB: Function and Diversity of Genomes

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2019

Genetics IIB aims to build an appreciation of the power of genetic analysis. Building on the foundation concepts developed in Genetics IIA, topics include concepts in human genetics and genetic dissection of developmental processes. Genetics IIB also provides a foundation to modern genetics analysis of evolutionary processes, including the genetics of populations. The practical component for this course draws from the MBS Prac A, Prac B and Prac C series. Refer to Study With Us_Student Support_Enrolment Help information at for further information.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GENETICS 2520
    Course Genetics IIB: Function and Diversity of Genomes
    Coordinating Unit School of Biological Sciences
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 8 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites BIOLOGY 1101/1101ND or BIOLOGY 1401 or BIOLOGY 1001, & BIOLOGY 1201 or BIOLOGY 1202. Students who enrolled in BIOLOGY 1101, 1101ND or 1401 or 1001 only should contact the Course Coordinator to request permission to enrol
    Assumed Knowledge GENETICS 2510
    Course Description Genetics IIB aims to build an appreciation of the power of genetic analysis. Building on the foundation concepts developed in Genetics IIA, topics include concepts in human genetics and genetic dissection of developmental processes. Genetics IIB also provides a foundation to modern genetics analysis of evolutionary processes, including the genetics of populations.
    The practical component for this course draws from the MBS Prac A, Prac B and Prac C series. Refer to Study With Us_Student Support_Enrolment Help information at for further information.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Michelle Coulson

    Lectures presented by:
    Dave Adelson
    Jack da Silva
    Michael Lardelli
    Rob Richards
    (Department of Molecular and Biomedical Science)
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    See Course Planner for lecture and tutorial times. The practical component (laboratory) is listed separately for timetabling and enrolment purposes - search the Course Planner for the pracs relevant to your enrolment. Read the Practical A, B & C (2016) document found at to tell you which practicals to enrol in (Practicals for Level II BIOCHEM,
    GENETICS and MICRO courses). Contact for more information.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Apply specific knowledge gained in one context to explain new situations in different contexts
    2 Apply fundamental developmental biology principles to new situations
    3 Understand the complications and limitations of genetic analysis in medical genetics
    5 Apply population and evolutionary genetics principles and rules to new situations
    6 Appreciate the requirement for mathematical modelling, statistical analysis and estimation in modern population and evolutionary genetics
    7 Obtain hands-on experience in performing fundamental molecular and cellular biology techniques, including working safely and efficiently in a modern laboratory setting
    8 Correctly analyse and interpret experimental results within the limitations of the experimental design
    9 Communicate results and conclusions of experiments using recognised scientific communication frameworks (e.g. written report, oral presentation, poster)
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1-8, 7
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1, 2, 4
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    1, 6, 7, 8
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    7, 8
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    1, 7, 8
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Lab coat and safety glasses are to be supplied by student and worn in every prac class
    Recommended Resources
    Recommended textbook: Genetics: A Conceptual Approach 5th edition by Benjamin A. Pierce, Freeman publishers
    The Barr Smith library has multiple copies of this book in the Reserve section.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    No information currently available.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average, 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g.,
    lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).
    Learning Activities Summary
    Lecture topics:

    a)  The power of genetics - Drosophila embryo development

    b)  The power of genetics - plant flower development

    c)  Disruption of the cell cycle can cause cancer

    d)   Focus on human and medical genetics

    e)  Quantitative traits - each allele has a small effect and many genes are involved

    f)  Population and evolutionary genetics

    The tutorials aim to apply the principles and knowledge discussed in lectures to simple problems. Tutorials are structured around multiple questions that together address all levels of Bloom's taxonomy


    The practicals aim to introduce central molecular and cell biology techniques, and require thorough analysis and interpretations of results obtained. Core topics include: antibody technology and applications (including analysis of gene expression), microscopy, recombinant DNA methodology, basic principles of experimental design. Further, optional topics include: analysis of protein:protein interactions, further principles of experimental design, further molecular and cell biology techniques.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Exam 60%
    Take-home assignments 10%
    Short tests in tutorials 10%
    Assessment of Practicals 20%
    Assessment Detail
    The exam is worth 60% of the final mark and is held during the end-of-semester examinations period.

    Assessment of content of practicals takes various forms and together comprised 20% of the total mark.

    There will be a total of three assignment termed "Question Papers" (which are past exam questions that students complete in their own time). These will be equally weighted and together contribute 10% of the final mark.

    Four of the tutorials will begin with a short test. Each test will be a single past exam question. The tutorial tests aim to give students feedback on their understanding of the lecture material throughout the semester as assessed under closed-book test conditions. They are also a strong incentive to keep up to date with the lecture material. A student's best three marks (equally weighted) of the four tests  will contribute 10% of the final mark.
    Late Submission
    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that the assignment is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days late or more without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the marks available for that assignment.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.